Hiroshi Amano, a professor at the University of Nagoya in Japan, is one of the most recognized physicists in the world. He created the Blue-LED, the efficient diode that allowed has the creation of low-consumption white light sources. For this reason, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics 2014.
On January 11st, he was in Chile to take part in the Congress of the Future next day at the former National Congress. But, before his conference, he wanted to meet academics related to Engineering in Chile. For this, he chose the Center for Mathematical Modeling at Universidad de Chile (CMM). Here, he knew the scientific work done at Casa de Bello and gave in advance some highlights of his conference.
For Alejandro Jofré, CMM director, “it is essential to create synergies between important outreach activities, such as Congreso del Futuro, with the work developed by centers of excellence and universities. This visit opens the doors to future collaboration with the scientific-academic community and decision-makers.”
LED, it be
“Tomorrow I’ll talk about the development of Blue-LED, the history of Blue-LED,” said the Nobel Prize. “For example, the efficiency of Blue LED is very high compared to conventional incandescent lamps or fluorescent lamps. Eight times higher than incandescent lamps and two times higher than fluorescent lamps.”
To understand the history of its technology, we have to go back to the early twentieth century when the physical effect of electroluminescence was discovered. In the 60s, the creation of the Red-LED opened the way to the appearance of other color LEDs, among them, green. Yet, its use was limited to small lights in appliances.
Then, the attempts to get the Blue-LED began. Everything, to find the white light and other colors, which are the combination of red, green and… blue.
Many experiments failed. And many involved Amano himself. Because he tried again and again. However, success came. In the 1990s, thanks to technologies derived from the manufacture of lasers with semiconductors and the use of gallium-indium nitride and gallium-aluminum nitride, the team of Amano, Imano Akasaki, and Shuji Nakamura created the efficent blue light.
This paved the way to the white LED. The Blue-LED was the most economic way of producing light of this color by combining it with yellow phosphor coatings. A world of LED screens on televisions, computers, tablets, and cell phones was born. The new technology transformed most of the energy into light. It didn’t lose energy in heat, like incandescent lamps.
“It contributes to save energy and establishing a sustainable society in Chile,” said the Japanese.
During the visit, Amano spoke with CMM director Alejandro Jofré, University vice president and academic at Industrial Engineering Rafael Epstein, director of International Relations and CMM Chief Innovation Officer Eduardo Vera, Director of Electrical Engineering (DIE) Luis Vargas, academics Marcelo Matus and Marcos Flores –from the DIE and the Department of Physics, respectively– and a group of postdocs.
While the Chilean scientists talked about the advances and results of the solar energy and energy saving initiatives where the U. de Chile is a pioneer, the Japanese physicist told them about the creation of a consortium where 42 companies and the Nagoya University promote the use of technologies based on inventions and discoveries of the higher education institution in a match funds scheme with a strong State support.
“I found postdocs are very intelligent, very concentrated. They seem to be very capable,” said Amano, “in the future, I think we can state collaboration between University of Nagoya and Universidad de Chile.”